AVENUE Q: Music and Lyrics, Robert Lopez & Jeff Marx; Book Jeff Whitty
On Tour till at least 8 July
Runs: 2h 20m, one interval
Review: Alexander Ray, Hippodrome Birmingham, 17 May 2011
Unremittingly feel-good, a real gemAVENUE Q is such a clever idea – create a show that looks for all the world like a kiddies’ show and then say and do really rude things in it – well, not really rude, but a bit rude-ish. So, in AVENUE Q stories of sex, gay coming out, sexual passion, porn, and the uselessness of Arts Honours Degrees are played out with endearingly innocent looking puppets. Clean cut, apple-pie puppeteers / actors strengthen the delightful collision between the wholesome and the naughty. But it truly is so nice.
In a host of witty yum-ti-tum songs (Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx) no reasonable taboo is left unturned; top of the bill comes EVERYONE’S A LITTLE BIT RACIST followed, in a photo-finish by PORN.
The performing company bursts with vitality and good-will, never flagging in their efforts to keep the show romping along.
You’ll have to see the show to get the story – which doesn’t matter that much anyway. The characters are larger than life, as are the messages – like FIND YOUR PURPOSE. I particularly liked Matthew J Henry’s child-star-now-handyman, Gary, and the glorious ironies he embodies.
I laughed loudly at the right and wrong moments, but must confess that I failed to go ‘Ahhhh’ with the rest of my fellow audience members . . . but then I’m a hard bastard.